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Battle Atlas of the Falklands War 1982



LSL Sir Percivale

on to 12. Merchant Navy ships


RFA Olmeda replenishing HMS Invincible post-war (Courtesy - MOD, Navy)


Vital Fleet Support - Away from its few shore bases, the Navy simply could not operate without the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which like its parent service sent a large proportion of its strength to the South Atlantic before the end of the war - no less than 22 of the 27 ships in commission. Civilian-manned and flying the Blue Ensign, the RFA's usually supplied warships underway by Replenishment at Sea (RAS) techniques:

- Heavy furnace fuel oil for older ships, diesel and aviation fuels and fresh water were supplied through hoses

- Dry goods by jackstay and

- Most ships were equipped to handle helicopters for vertrep, and if needed to provide the RFA's own ASW screen.



The types of ships, displacement tons, and helicopters embarked were:

Fleet replenishment ships supplied ammunition, food and dry stores:
  "Regent", "Resource" 22,800 tons Wessex
  "Fort Austin", "Fort Grange" 17,200 tons Wessex/Sea Kings
  "Stromness" - Stores support ship 14,000 tons helicopter deck
Fleet tankers carried all three types of fuel as well as fresh water, and could replenish three ships at a time, including one astern:
  "Olmeda", "Olna" (plus "Olwen" - did not take part) 36,000 tons Sea Kings/Wessex
  "Tidepool", "Tidespring" 27,400 tons Wessex
  "Blue Rover" - one of five small fleet tankers; also carries dry cargo 11,500 tons helicopter deck
Support tankers normally transported ship and aviation fuel between terminals and depots, but could replenish the fleet tankers and directly refuel other ships. The two classes were considerably supplemented by civilian tankers:
  "Appleleaf", "Brambleleaf", "Bayleaf" 26,000 tons (no flightdeck)
  "Pearleaf" and "Plumleaf" - older ships 26,000 tons (no flightdeck)
Landing ship logistics (LSL's) were RO-RO vessels equipped with bow and stern doors and ramps for loading and unloading troops and tanks:
  "Sir Bedivere", "SIR GALAHAD" (lost by air attack),
"Sir Geraint", "Sir Lancelot" (UXB damage), "Sir Percivale",
"Sir Tristram" (UXB damage).
5,500 ton helicopter deck
Helicopter support ship equipped for naval training in the handling and maintenance of helicopters:
  "Engadine" 8,000 tons helicopter deck

Separate from the RFA was the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service with 400 civilian-manned ships providing marine services in and around naval bases. Two ships sailed south:

Ocean tug "Typhoon" (1,030 grt)
Mooring, salvage and boom vessel "Goosander" (900 grt).


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revised 31/5/13